I’m in a weird limbo right now. My next race is supposed to be the Olde 96er 200 Miler on April 16th. Given the current pandemic situation though, the RD has decided to move it to late August. Since the race format is unsupported though, she’s left open the option of running is solo on the current dates with the understanding that there’s absolutely no support available. So I would be completely on my own. We can send her our GPS files to prove we ran the course and she’ll send us a buckle.

Late August doesn’t work for me as it’s only 2 weeks after Eastern States. So I either run it solo in 3 weeks or defer to next year. Which is again tentatively scheduled for late August. So will be in conflict with ES100 again. And if I’m forced to choose between the 2 races, I’ll pick a run through the woods around Pine Creek to state road 45. Most people would consider this a no brainer decision, but that’s not the case for me. I truly love the unsupported nature of Olde 96er and last year’s race was one of my most satisfying ultra finishes to date. I want to go back and relive that.

So 3 weeks from now seems to be my only chance to do this in a semi-race format. Considering how much the world seems to be changing on a daily basis though, I have no idea what things will be like in 3 weeks.

I’ve set myself a fairly simple criteria on whether to go forward or not. There are 8 gas stations along the route that are open 24 hours a day, which I had been planning to rely on exclusively. The farthest stretch between them is 18 miles with a couple only 3-10 miles apart. I can do 18 miles in between aid as I did it last year. So if enough gas stations are still open around the clock to provide me aid every 18 miles, then I’m gonna give it a whirl. If not, then I’ll have to let go to my obsession of running 200 miles in Ohio.

So I’m still training because I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I’m still dreaming (or are those nightmares?) of moving down those impossibly straight roads. Of seeing the Ohio River on my second morning at the halfway mark. And stepping into Lake Erie at the end of my journey.

And if it doesn’t happen? Then I’ll find a plan B.

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